Out of My Comfort Zone
So this is a little non-scientific or competition related post for a change. It started as one thing and ended up another. Kind of a like a vlog type therapy Lily Thomlin’s character does in the Netflix series Grace and Frankie.
So here you go, Wednesday nights’ thoughts
I remember when I was first getting into the sport of muscley pagents… uh, I mean, physique contests where you walk around on stage in front of lots of people in hooker heels and a suit so tiny it just covers your butt crack.
Organized sports had been a big party of my life ever since 9th grade up through college. Swimming being the main event. After college I really missed being a part of a team so I took up boxing. That was a blast. Beating on each other, skipping rope till you had a pool of sweat beneath you, getting punched in the jaw so hard it momentarily disrupted any sort of thinking process you had leaving you vulnerable to a cascade of punches backing you into a corner. Yeah, that was super fun! 😀 Broke my nose sparing a pro from another gym and kept fighting 3 more rounds. I was pretty bad ass… In my world anyway. I loved it but the long term effects of beatings to the head didn’t really appeal to me and I decided to move on.
During that time, I was also partaking in running races and triathlons while coaching swim teams. After that, as stated above I moved onto crossfit type stuff. My main goal was to stay skinny. Especially after having two kiddos. Sure I wanted some muscle but the main image in my head was a supermodel body type.
Today that body type actually looks icky to me. I look in the Victoria’s Secret (VS) magazine and I think.. man, that girl could really use a squat rack and some glute bridges, maybe a little shoulder press action and some lat pull downs. Okay, I totally picked this VS model as she looks pretty “un-curvy” to make my point… but she is still a model in VS and looks like this! 🙁
Sure, as a fit chick and personal trainer, I do have a tendency to analyze someone’s physique but not in a judgmental way. I think of it in a scenario of, if this person came to me to improve their health or want to be in better shape, this is what I would have them do… Never in my head do I think “geez that person must be SO lazy”, or “gawd how did they ever let themselves get to that point”- thin or overweight- NEVER! That is a terrible way to think. A person can actually carry a lot of weight and be totally buff underneath too! A person can be very thin and be struggling just the same as someone over weight. A person can be very unhealthy but is too intimidated or self-conscious to do something about it or they don’t even know where to start!
Don’t judge. Don’t be a hater and give someone the benefit of the doubt. Be diplomatic, not a douche bag. I say this because I feel like these are all things I have learned over the years with the mistakes I have made burning bridges, ending friendships, being blunt but in an inappropriate manner, judging and being jealous but not trying to show it but really it eats away at my insides and eventually comes out in some form.
My 20’s weren’t the best time for me. Sure I had a TON of fun being young and partying to the break of dawn and dancing on the bar but I wasn’t right with myself. When I was 26, I remember laying on the floor crying I was so depressed and my then fiance, now husband, handed me this book called The Ultimate Secrets of Total Self-Confidence by Dr. Robert Anthony. This book was a game changer. I read it, I took detailed notes, I worked on myself day and night, in my own head disrupting negative thoughts, telling myself great things, among other exercises and over time, it worked. It mother effing worked! This was a turning point. A time where I turned the key on the door to happiness and I could now walk across the threshold. But that was just the beginning of the journey to being fully present in the room. This opened up doors to better relationships with friends and family as well as strangers I come across every day.
After years learning how to utilize these new tools to be true to myself and loving who I am, I tend to have a hard time understanding why others have not reached this same point by their late 30’s. Or when I try to reach out to a past friend where things ended, not out of a blow out event or something anybody said but more out of neglect of our friendship. I essentially burned that bridge and never looked back because I didn’t know how to handle conflict well and certainly didn’t feel comfortable with a heart-to-heart conversation to get to the root of our issues. I was so set on my goals at that time to be the best at what ever job I was going to have in the future that I kept moving forward without looking back and without fostering good relationships. And now, when I reach out to some of them, they don’t reach back. I am not sure why but I feel that if they think I have not grown and changed as a person, have they?
You only see in others what you see in yourself. I find that statement so interesting and so true. Now, that may not be the case AT ALL with these few that I had reached out to and got nothing. It is purely speculation but never the less, it is a thought that comes to mind.
I want to think everyone gets better with age, but when I find out that isn’t the case for everyone, I am saddened. This society certainly doesn’t help with the bombardment of messages making us feel inadequate so we will buy something to temporarily fill a void or make us feel somehow we are better than someone else for having a fancy watch, or car or house. It is fun having those things for sure! But when it takes over your life, it takes a toll on your mind, your energy and your happiness. It’s all about perspective. I do sometimes feel inadequate living in a modest house while many people my age in these suburbs that surround me live in new builds, bigger homes, have big master suites and walk in closets, but at the root, I hear constant complaints that they can’t afford anything. I sit here, debt free because my husband is “the man” financially and had us take steps to save, save, save leaving me in a position to be able to stay at home with my kids for the last 6 years, start two businesses and do with our time what we love to do. But many don’t see that debt free aspect but judge my home or cars or clothes. That used to bother me. It bothered me when we moved into this house 6 years ago and my family would tell me my house was dark and small and ugly. Now, being humble and knowing my position in that room of happiness is priceless. And in knowing that, I don’t have to make that known… I used to, but now I don’t, although, that is really what I am doing now…. Hmmm….
Maybe I should shut up… but not yet….
I have also learned that I need to set aside fear of rejection and failure and realize and act upon opportunities as they are happening. Our insecurities and fears can cause us to hesitate missing that moment when you could have said something you really needed to to a friend or loved one, shook someone’s hand that you really wanted to meet, put in a good word for yourself or someone else, took that damn chance to be your outgoing chatty self to make that connection but you didn’t. To take that step you need to to move forward, with anything! – relationships, business, self- improvement! You miss the opportunity because you were too afraid to step up. Damn I have done that at least 4 times in the few months.
But many times it is never too late. Although, the longer you wait the harder it gets. The more you talk yourself out of it, the easier it becomes to say “I can’t.”
I am trying to make connections and learn from others in this fitness industry. I am trying to put myself out there, which is hard as hell because its scary and there are plenty of douche bags ready to pounce and prey on you, which has happened. There are certain things I wished I had handled better or said or didn’t say. Sure I stewed about these situations for days!!! Thoughts would go through my head like…Why did I say that? What could I have done better, geez I am SO stupid! Ugh!! What am I doing!!!??
But I had to keep telling myself, learn from it, move on, learn from it and move the fuck on! Swearing, ah swearing… gets my point across doesn’t it.
The bodybuilding industry is a small one. It’s big but its small. Everyone knows everyone. Everyone has a method or an opinion. People get all hostile on someone for having a strong view on how something should be done that they don’t agree with.
Clients jump around to various coaches, which is all good. It’s nice to get some variation before settling on a coach for the long term if you stay in this “sport” of bodybuilding.
But, it’s easy to really piss other people off or offend someone with hearsay or comments. I feel like it’s the game of telephones. Someone says something, then they tell their friend who tells their coach in some conversation whilst resting in the squat rack but the message was conveyed out of context with the wrong emotion attached to it.
It’s the way it goes with anything. Sometime drama just keeps things interesting. It is what it is. I really don’t want any part of it and have done a pretty decent job of doing so. But, it can be unavoidable when you put yourself out there like this, on a blog, reaching out to others; exposing your knowledge, your heart, your goals.
It’s hard to not let others’ negativity or jealousy bother you but the minute you let someone else get in your head, you lose sleep, you lose your sense of presence and it sucks your energy! Responding to it can be even worse no matter how nice you try to be. At the same time, if you don’t put yourself out there, how will you share your experiences or knowledge? If you don’t keep an open mind and be willing to learn, how will you make progress and become better. If you don’t open up, how you will meet and really connect with new people? I have got say, I have met some AMAZING people in the last couple years. WOW, some truly inspirational people. Many of whom I have never met in person but have connected through my blog, coaching, and facebook sharing a common bond we know as fitness. I never would have made those valuable connections if I didn’t put my story out there as the same goes for them.
Being a real part of the fitness world whether it be bodybuilding, zumba, marathons, crossfit, organized team sports and so on pushes you in more ways than one. It may push you physically but you are only limited by your own mind. By your own doubts, fears and perceived exhaustion. Your body tells you you are tired and low on energy stores well before you actually are. Its a survival mechanism. If you know how to push past that, the possibilities are endless. Many times, it takes someone to help you realize that. These challenges are a common ground with others and this is where we connect and support each other.
This I learned as an athlete in high school and college as a sprinter in the sport of swimming and it certainly applies to all aspects of life.
What the sport of bodybuilding has done for me, aside from meeting amazing supportive people, is the confidence in knowing I don’t need to look like a sickly supermodel. I LOVE my muscles and the body I have built. LOVE!
When I entered this fitness arena, people would tell me that I would run into a lot of jealous and caddy bitches . Some coaches even promote this within their teams as a type of psychological war fare, much like Arnold Schwarzenegger used to do to his opponents but that’s not me. I don’t like that and I would never ask my clients to do this to others. Maybe I am a softy, but its not fun when you can’t support each others successes! Who will then be around for yours?
I have also run into coaches that think they are god and its a privilege to even be talking to them. Sure they have great knowledge and experience but where would they be without their paying clients or followers even listening to them. I don’t want to feel like I am maybe just barely sort of good enough to be on your team or to be soaking up your knowledge. There are FAR too many amazing coaches out there that I highly respect and would follow to the end of the earth and jump off the edge if they told me it would help me reach my goals, assuming the earth was flat. 😀
But, for the amount of awesomeness I have come across in bodybuilding, it completely and utterly out weighs any of the negative that may go with it. Either way I am in love with this sport. I love that you can build and change your body and see those changes in myself as well as in others and then celebrate all those goals achieved along the way.
But and the end of the day, I am a human. Being. I second guess myself. I ask myself what am I doing and where I am going. I am scared being a small fish in a big pond, but shit, I am still learning and everyone has to start somewhere!!!
I am still acquiring wisdom on how to be super awesome at being a human. I know this process will continue for the rest of my life. And as I go down this road, I get better at being me which helps me get better at being a wife, a Mother, a friend, a coach, a mentor, a community member, a business owner… a person.
It helps me get closer to the center of that happiness room and be fully present.
I started this post and wasn’t quite sure where it would end, and this is where my long winded thought process will end for the night. I wasn’t quite sure what my point was when I started but this is where it ended up.
So, live and lift on you fantastic person who actually read this til the end! I thank you. My goal that I am proclaiming to you and putting out into the universe is that I am working on putting more of my thoughts, more of me, more of who I really am inside “out there.” I am getting seriously out of my comfort zone as I have hidden “ME” nearly my whole life. I didn’t want to complain, I didn’t speak up for myself, I wasn’t true to myself, I just wanted to please others, stay out of any drama and let everyone know that I was always fine. That everything was always GREAT in my life when it was really the opposite. I didn’t get out there in the ring and fight for ME! I am not afraid anymore to get out there, -To fight for me-. And, I may take a cascade of punches leaving me witless, I may get backed into a corner or break my nose but I will keep fighting another round!
My driving goals are no longer extrinsic and superficial. NOT…ANY…MORE! The moment I started to open up, the moment I started to hold true to my feelings and needs and goals, that was the moment I headed down the path to being truly confident and truly happy. And boy oh boy, do I have a ways to go but WOW have I come a long way.
Thank you for connecting. Feel free to do the same. I would love to hear from you.